There’s concern that the price wars started by indie writers may come back to haunt them. Here’s the scoop: Indie authors are able to sell their books for at a much lower price than traditional publishing. You’re basically buying right from the source with minimal overhead. The issue is that if traditional publishers lower prices, more competition for indies. Maybe not.
For one, there is always competition, traditional or otherwise. Just walk into a bookstore or browse Amazon. Millions. It’s about — regardless of how you publish — connecting with audiences with a strong, quality product. Two, I’ve seen many of these “low” prices jump back up. Perhaps not as high as retail, but still up. Holiday pricing, perhaps? The idea of having a sale seems to be a new thing for some publishers. How low can traditional publishers really go? Sure, on a super runaway bestseller they can afford some sales or lower prices. Or they can say, “This is a bestseller, people are going to buy it regardless.” And, of course, the lower the traditional publishers go with pricing, the less their authors get.
That’s why indie authors still have an advantage when it comes to revenue (not that writing books is a get-rich scheme). There are other factors at work here, but ultimately I think indies, e-books and technology will continue to transform the industry. Where the equilibrium will occur, I’m not sure. There’s room for all publishing models, but we are seeing a settling of which is good for whom.